Some readers have asked why I started my book about the rise of the Bush dynasty with a chapter set between the two George Bush presidencies, with Bill Clinton explaining why he didn’t pursue investigations of his predecessor’s Cold War crimes. The short answer is that I saw that moment as pivotal to understanding today’s political crisis.Parry follows this with a short introduction to the untold history of the USA and the Cold War. And he keeps on hitting them. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. Eventually he gets you to the point where it seems quite natural to see:
The failure of the Clinton Democrats to fight for an honest record of the Cold War – and to expose George H.W. Bush’s complicity in wrongdoing – opened the door for George W. Bush to enter the White House in 2001. If key documents had been declassified about just a few scandals, such as the Iraqgate arming of Saddam Hussein and the Iran-Contra Affair, that door almost certainly would have been shut for good.
But Bill Clinton saw history as less important than, say, his health-care program, which he thought (naively) might garner some Republican support if he let the elder George Bush off the hook. So, the American people were left with a misleading Cold War history; Clinton never got his bipartisanship; and the way was cleared for a comeback by the Bushes and their neoconservative allies.
Indirectly, the decision to avoid any truth-commission-style accountability after “winning” the Cold War also contributed to the quagmire in Iraq, a budgetary ocean of red ink again at high tide, and a population that wallows more and more in myths and misinformation.
If the American people had understood how incompetent and deceitful the neoconservatives had been in the 1980s, that would have made the sale of the Iraq War in 2002-2003 a lot trickier.and
If Clinton had released the Cold War secrets, the electorate would have been much better armed to assess how propaganda had come to permeate the relations between the U.S. government and its citizens.Parry's most recent article is called Beating Bush at 'Information War' and you can read it here.
You can also get lost in the consortiumnews.com Archives. Sometimes I drop by just to look around. There's a lot of history here. Today, for example, I found a story relating to both this post and my previous item about Chavez and Venezuela and Guatemala in 1954. Just in case you were interested.
And in case you are still interested, there's a previous Winter Patriot piece on Robert Parry and that is here. And of course there are many more links to Robert's excellent work, on the sidebar.